Cord Clutter Out of Control!
The area by my bedside table is a spaghetti mess of power cords, transformer power bricks, extension cords, power strips, and charging cables. When I got a Nexus 7 tablet several months ago, the situation reached a tipping point, and I knew I had to reduce the cord clutter. I went about looking for a device which could charge three mobile devices (an iPad, iPhone, and Nexus 7) using only one power outlet. This would be a big step in making my bedside cord clutter more manageable.
Upon searching, I quickly learned that there are an abundance of such devices. But from reading reviews, I learned that a good number of these power stations had trouble meeting the higher power demands of tablets like the iPad and Nexus 7.
I recalled getting a press release about DOK charging stations. DOK offers several multi-port charging stations, including models with built-in clocks, alarms, and radios, and speakers. I didn’t want a large device and I didn’t need a clock, but their CR15 model looked like it would meet my needs. I decided it was worth a try and obtained a review sample.
DOK to the Rescue
The DOK CR15 I received is oval-shaped, with a table-top footprint of about 4 inches in diameter. The speaker grill covers the front, and along the back you find the power input connector and three standard USB ports for charging your devices–one high-power port (red) for charging tablets, and two lower power ports (white). Because the DOK has standard USB ports for attaching charging cables, you can use it to charge any kind of phone or device whether it be 30-pin Apple connector, Apple Lightning connector, mini-USB, micro-USB or other.
The top of the unit has an inset cradle and upright backrest designed for holding your phone or tablet in portrait or landscape orientation. The upright backrest has a notch down the center which can be used to hold the loose ends of your charging cables so they stay within easy reach and don’t fall back behind the furniture when not in use. On one side of the CR15 is the speaker’s 3.5mm input jack, and the speaker’s on/off switch is on the other side. The bottom of the CR15 has a slide-out stabilizing platform which prevents the device from tipping over when a tablet is in the cradle.
All DOK models include smart current detection (SCD) to prevent battery damage due to constant overcharging.
Dok CR15 Experience
I have been using the DOK CR15 for about two months and it has been working very well for my charging needs, and definitely made an improvement in the cord clutter. My night-time charging routine is generally to charge my iPhone on the higher-power port while using my iPad to read before going to sleep. When I turn out the light, I switch the high-power charging cable to my iPad, and plug my iPhone into one of the lower-powered ports to keep it topped off overnight. I use the third port for charging either my Nexus 7, a portable speaker, or a small Bluetooth adapter that I use with ear buds. I suspect the Nexus 7 charges more slowly on the DOK compared to a standard outlet, but it gets a full charge on the lower-power USB port overnight and that works for me, since I use it only occasionally.
The DOK CR15 has a small built-in speaker, which I have only used briefly for testing purposes for this review. The speaker is what you would expect–which is to say, not great. It’s fine for spoken word media, or a bit of music as you drift off to sleep, but the quality falls far short of spectacular. The speaker has an on/off switch, which you will want to keep in the off position when you’re not using it, because it does emit occasional crackling noises. The speaker on the CR15 requires a 3.5mm input connection–it does not work through Bluetooth or the Apple connector. Perhaps the larger clock radio models have better speakers, but I can’t speak to the size or quality of them.
I like how the CR15 cradle allows me to prop my phone up either in portrait or landscape orientation. An adapter insert for the cradle is provided, which allows it to work with various different phones. It holds my iPhone 4s with Lifeproof case without the need for any adapter. Although the cradle will hold a larger tablet like the iPad, I find it a bit precarious.
Geek in the Forest Verdict: I’m In Love!
All in all, I am very happy with the DOK CR15. It serves my needs quite well, has reduced my bedside cord clutter, and does not occupy a lot of space on my crowded bedside table.